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IWA Annual Review 2013/2014


Š Gabrielle Lorenz


IWA Annual Review 2013/2014

IWA Annual Review 2013/2014

This year, we have been provided with a brilliant opportunity to celebrate and build on our long history of campaigning for our inland waterways. Anniversary events are taking place for several major waterway restoration successes such as the Southern Stratfordupon-Avon Canal and the Upper Avon Navigation, which were led or supported by IWA. Celebrations around these popular waterways have enabled us to champion the restoration of waterways across the country for future generations to enjoy, by increasing awareness, momentum, support and funding for restoration groups. We have continued to campaign for our navigable waterways, by tackling local and national issues. This has included working towards our vision of a single navigation authority for the waterways, in order to open up new funding opportunities. We have also been busy working with our members, waterway users and other organisations to present a single waterways view of how best to mitigate the effect of HS2 high speed railway, which represents a real threat to the waterways in certain locations. Another threat to our navigations is the invasive species, Himalayan Balsam, and this year we have continued the successful campaign started in 2013, to provide resources, raise awareness and organise work parties to remove the plant. The problem with use and availability of moorings in certain areas continues to be addressed at a local and national level. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our members for their continued support and volunteers for the substantial amount of work they have undertaken as well as their ongoing efforts, whether it be through IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group, campaigning, committees, work parties or festivals and events. IWA simply would not exist without them.

Contents 1 2-3


National Campaigns


Local Campaign Highlights




Leading Waterway Restoration


Volunteers Improving the Waterways


Essex Waterways


Festivals, Events & WOW


Financial Summary


Get Involved!

- Les Etheridge, IWA National Chairman

Cover image: River Cam at Ely



IWA Annual Review 2013/2014

National Campaigns Our inland waterways network is a fantastic asset, available for the nation to enjoy. However, it would not exist as it does today without the campaigning work IWA has carried out over the past 70 years and continues to undertake at a local and national level.

Protecting EA Navigations Our waterways are still under threat and over the past year, one of IWA’s major campaigns has involved lobbying for the transfer of Environment Agency (EA) navigations to Canal & River Trust (CRT) subject to the right financial terms. IWA was a major influence in ensuring that CRT received an adequate financial settlement from Government when it became a charity in 2012, and it continues to campaign for long term funding for both CRT and EA to maintain the navigations in their control. The failure of Government to transfer when the opportunity arose in 2013, is a major concern given the large funding cuts that EA is now facing. In November 2013 EA announced plans to restructure and reduce the overall size of the organisation. Transferring EA navigations to CRT, with an appropriate funding package, is

the best way forward and would be a further step towards IWA’s long held vision and aim for a National Waterways Conservancy, which could offer a single licensing authority for all navigations. IWA will continue to lobby the Waterways Minister and other MPs to secure the future and funding of EA navigations.

Single Waterways View for HS2 A significant amount of work has also been undertaken by IWA’s HS2 Campaign & Communications Group to mitigate the effect that the High Speed 2 (HS2) high speed railway will have on navigable waterways along the route, and to ensure that restoration schemes don’t have their viability threatened, particularly around the Chesterfield Canal.



volunteer hours spent on IWA’s HS2 campaign to date


IWA does not object to HS2 in principle but the current proposed HS2 route could have an extensive negative

IWA Annual Review 2013/2014

impact on the built heritage, tranquillity and amenity value of various canal navigations, their access and enjoyment by the public and their commercial interests. IWA has worked together with other waterway organisations to present a single ‘waterways’ response to the three HS2 consultations. There were major concerns about the impact HS2 would have in the area around Fradley Junction in Staffordshire, as the plans included several crossing points over the Trent & Mersey Canal. IWA proposed an alternative route in January 2012, and in 2013 IWA worked with CRT to commission a report for the ‘Alternative Alignment’ proposal at Fradley, which confirmed its viability. IWA and CRT are continuing to campaign for HS2 Ltd to adopt the alternative route. Towards the end of May this year, IWA formally submitted a Petition to the House of Commons against the High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill, which mentions noise reduction, vertical deviations on canal crossings, waterway design principles, clearances for boats and towpath users, redesign of the HS2 link line canal crossings at Fradley as well as drawing attention to plans for other specific locations that need to be improved because of the impact they could have on the waterways. IWA has and continues to follow a number of routes to object to the Bill.

Mooring Issues Increasing numbers of craft are appearing on the waterways without a home mooring. IWA has long supported the principle of residential boating and also the right to continuously cruise the system. However, some declared continuous cruisers are choosing to stay in a narrow geographic area and

in some places, such as London and the western end of the Kennet & Avon Canal, there are problems of overstaying on visitor moorings, making it difficult for visiting boats to find an overnight mooring. The solution is a combination of better enforcement of the rules and the provision of more short stay visitor moorings. IWA has lobbied CRT very hard on this issue and has provided comment and guidance on several consultations regarding mooring sites in the areas affected.

Himalayan Balsam A very productive campaign to raise awareness of and remove Himalayan Balsam was carried out in 2013 and continues in 2014. Eradication of this plant from inland waterways is important for boaters as its vigorous growth shades out all natural vegetation in the summer, but completely dies back in the winter, leaving canal banks vulnerable to erosion and increasing dredging requirements.



volunteer days spent clearing Himalayan Balsam in 2013


IWA Branches from across the country have been working hard to locate and remove the invasive species, as well as raising awareness of the plant with a view to decreasing its spread and increasing reporting so that it can be cleared. In 2014, work parties have been focussed into two Himalayan Balsam weeks so that it can be cleared before the seed pods are released and the plant spreads. Guidance and resources have been made available on the website to address the issue in the long term.



IWA Annual Review 2013/2014

Local Campaign Highlights As well as several national committees, IWA is organised through a network of eight Regions and 33 local Branches. These committees consist of volunteers, who coordinate activities as diverse as policing planning applications, providing engineering expertise, raising money for restoration schemes and educating the public on the value of their local waterways. IWA Chester and Merseyside Branch continues to make significant progress with its campaign for the reopening of the river lock leading onto the River Dee and a vision to be adopted for Chester’s canal and river connection, which was developed alongside other organisations. At the opening of IWA’s 2014 Campaign Festival at Tower Wharf in Chester, the Lord Mayor of Chester, Cllr Bob Rudd, promised that the newly launched Chester Waterways Strategy would be acted upon. IWA Lichfield Branch was heavily involved in the ‘Alternative Alignment’ proposal for the Phase 1 HS2 route over and near the Trent & Mersey Canal in the area around Fradley. In 2013 IWA Birmingham, Black

Country & Worcestershire Branch and Gloucestershire & Herefordshire Branch lobbied to increase the visitor moorings at Upton. Following meetings between the Environment Agency and Upton upon Severn Town Council in July, the moorings near the Swan Hotel were made fully operational. An agreement was also reached that offers passes for up to 28 days free mooring at Tingdene Upton Marina at Upton upon Severn. IWA Oxfordshire Branch objected to a planning application made in 2013 for an extensive development alongside the Oxford Canal in Banbury town centre which included the demolition of the northern car park and the General Foods Sports and Social Club as well as the erection of a glazed canopy over the Oxford Canal. In May 2014 a revised proposal was submitted retaining the Club, removing the canopy and retaining the margin adjacent to the canal. IWA branches, regions and WRG regional groups also organise regular fundraising initiatives, which allowed them to make donations of over £22,250 to waterway organisations in 2013.

The planning

system controls what can be built, and where, which can have a significant effect on the waterways - Phil Sharpe, IWA Lichfield Branch Planning Officer

IWA Annual Review 2013/2014

Fundraising Toby Gomm was appointed IWA’s new Fundraising Officer in November 2013 to identify new fundraising opportunities for the Association. Here’s what he’s been up to:

How much have you raised for the association? In excess of £25,000 within nine months. What has been your biggest challenge? Learning about the varied aspects and techniques required for successful grant applications and fundraising campaigns. What has been your biggest success? The Acheman Challenge has been the biggest success financially and I couldn’t have done it without the support of staff, branches and members. By raising more than £17,000 we vastly exceeded our initial target of £5,000. The money raised will be put towards a new excavator for WRG. What else have you been involved with? Two separate grants have been awarded for the 2014 Himalayan Balsam Pull, resulting in a total of £4,600 funding towards running the

work parties, providing equipment and promoting the campaign. Earlier this year I successfully enrolled IWA in the Google Ad Grants scheme, which has helped attract visitors to the website through free Google advertising, to increase awareness of the Association’s campaigns. I have been working with local branches to support their fundraising activities. I’ve helped secure a grant of £2,500 for the Caldon Canal Anniversary Waterway Community Day and received £2,000 grant funding for a Manchester Clean Up in October. I have also been working with Essex Waterways to seek over £30,000 funding for a new weed lifting boat

What initiatives have you got lined up? A national IWA raffle is being launched in August that aims to raise £10,000 to benefit active waterway restoration projects across the country.



IWA Annual Review 2013/2014

Leading Waterway Restoration Waterways are an incredibly valuable asset that provide enjoyment, recreation and employment. IWA has a long history of leading and supporting waterway restoration campaigns, highlighted by recent anniversaries. 2014 marks the centenery of the birth of one of IWA’s founders, Robert Aickman, and the 50th anniversary of the reopening of the Southern Stratford-upon-Avon Canal, which he was heavily involved with. The reopening was made possible through IWA lobbying, work parties, and the efforts of many dedicated volunteers. 2014 also marks the 40th anniversary of a whole host of restoration projects that greatly benefitted from IWA support, including the Upper Avon Navigation, Peak Forest, Ashton and Caldon canals.

More recently, IWA has continued to champion the waterway restoration movement by setting up a restoration partnership with Canal & River Trust (CRT) and providing funding for staff to enable CRT to focus on restoration. IWA also organised a joint IWA and CRT workshop which took place in May 2014, to provide support for

restoration groups and highlight the importance of future sustainability for restored waterways. The workshop provided an opportunity to present research highlighting the economic, social and environmental benefits, that the restoration of waterways can bring to an area, which was also summarised in a video, created jointly by IWA and CRT. Financial support is available for restoration groups in the form of IWA grants. Some recent recipients of grants include Wilts & Berks Canal Trust, Neath & Tennant Canal Trust, Somerset Waterways Development Trust, Chesterfield Canal Trust, Lancaster Canal Trust and Pontypridd Canals Conservation Group. Additionally, IWA has been developing the huge range of resources it has available on its website to support restoration groups and enable them to properly plan their projects to ensure future sustainability. IWA and IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) have been working with Cotswold Canals Trust (CCT) and supporting work on their canals further to the appeal launched in 2010, which

WRG, its history and the canals

that mark their legacy show everyone what can, and will be achieved. I think it is that ‘nothing is impossible’ attitude – somebody once said to me ‘because we don’t know what is impossible, we just get on and do it’. - George Rogers, WRG Volunteer

IWA Annual Review 2013/2014

4 80

1390 850


WRG volunteer days and activities carried out in 2013

45 287 84 0 * Canal Rest orat ion Veget at ion Clearance & Forest ry Canal Camp Logist ics & Planning Leader T raining Canal Improvement Fest ival Sit e Const ruction

Create inf ographics raised over £100,000. A festival has WRG worked with CRT to repoint and been organised at Saul Junction over repaint Lady Capels Bridge on the Grand the 2014 August Bank Holiday weekend Union Canal, to demonstrate to CRT the by the Association to promote the skilled work that can be carried out by restoration of these canals. volunteers.

IWA provides practical support for waterway restoration projects, such as the Cotswold canals, through WRG, which organises and runs week-long Canal Camp restoration holidays and weekend work parties. WRG is carrying out seven Canal Camps at various locations on the Cotswold canals in 2014 including Inglesham Lock. In 2013, WRG organised and carried out 23 Canal Camps on restoration projects including, restoring damaged brickwork on the Swansea Canal, laying blocks for a new lock on the Chesterfield Canal, and clearing vegetation from the Uttoxeter Canal and on the Cotswold Canals. In addition there were over 30 weekend digs organised across the country by WRG’s Regional Groups.

WRG also started offering a grant to assist restoration groups with the cost of training volunteers in skills associated with inland waterway restoration such as operating large machinery, conducting extensive surveys and dealing with increasingly demanding legislation. As an Approved Activity Provider, WRG had 26 students on Canal Camps in 2013, completing the residential part of their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. The Camps offer young people a fantastic chance to make new friends as well as learn practical and life skills.

At IWA’s 2013 National Festival, WRG volunteers organised and manned a free drive-a-digger experience to promote waterway restoration and to inspire the volunteers of the future. /api/stylesheets/29?nofonts=1

Age Range of Canal Camp volunteers in 2013

13% 27%




18-25 26-35 36-4 5 4 6-55 56+ *the majority of vegetation clearance & forestry carried out by WRG is on waterways under restoration 125


IWA Annual Review 2013/2014

Volunteers Improving the Waterways IWA volunteer work party numbers have increased dramatically since the appointment of a new Branch Campaign Officer in 2012 and an additional Branch Campaign Assistant in 2013, to provide support for IWA branches. Volunteers from the branches collaborated with other organisations to carry out 118 work parties in 2013 across Britain’s waterways. In October 2013, over 100 volunteers took part in a large multi-site clean-up on the canals of Greater Manchester labelled ‘Operation Starburst’, which involved pulling rubbish out of the canal, towpath repairs, vegetation clearance, painting and removing invasive plants.

cleared a stretch of the Grand Union Canal between Clements Street, Leamington Spa, and the aqueduct over the River Avon in Warwick. In the same month, 55 volunteers cleared litter from five miles along the Erewash Canal and towpath. Over 40 tonnes of rubbish was cleared from Birmingham’s canals as part of the annual BCN event in April 2014. As well as IWA’s annual awards, volunteer efforts were recognised at the 2013 Waterway Renaissance Awards, where IWA Milton Keynes Branch was ‘Commended’ for its canal clean-up, and IWA Lichfield Branch took home awards for its Rugeley Regeneration Project.

In March 2014, over 80 volunteers

Pocklington Canal

Beverley Beck

Bridgwater & Taunton Canal

Lee Navigation

Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation

Lancaster Canal


Waterways that had IWA branch work parties during 2013

IWA Annual Review 2013/2014

Number of work party volunteer days

Meet IWA’s new Branch Campaign Assistant, Stefanie Preston, who supports branches in the four Southern regions.

Lee Navigation

Pocklington Canal

Have you got any big projects lined up? IWA plans to hold a big volunteer clean-up event in London in November. The planned tasks for the day are still to be finalised but should be fun and well worth a trip out for any interested volunteers. Lancaster Canal

Bridgwater & Taunton Canal

more one ‘invests’, the more one gets back in the form of new friends and a sense of waterways camaraderie Bridgwater & Taunton Canal

Lancaster Canal

Beverley Beck


Pocklington Canal

Lee Navigation

Why are work parties important? A work party contributes to the maintenance of the waterways but also encourages use of the waterways, promotes the work Chelmer & Blackwater Navigationof IWA and

provides opportunities for volunteers Chelmer & Blackwater to make a difference, getNavigation outside, develop skills and meet new people. Beverley Beck

What does your role entail? A huge variety of tasks, such as helping branches with their web pages, editing the bulletin and circulating event details to the press. I also help branches to plan, publicise and run volunteer work parties.

- Herbert Eppel, IWA Leicestershire Branch volunteer committee member

Numbers of branches holding work parties

Total number of work parties


10 IWA Annual Review 2013/2014

Essex Waterways Essex Waterways Ltd continues to thrive as a navigation authority, by providing real improvement to the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation for all users. Much work has been carried out to provide new moorings and facilities, as well as routine dredging and maintainance. Although work has been carried out by staff and contractors, Essex Waterways has also been working with skilled volunteers to carry out much of the improvements.



new hard edge moorings created


At Paper Mill Lock north bank, new toilet facilities and a sluice unit have been completed, and new moorings for visitors have been created below the lock. Additionally, major improvement works were carried out to the bank alongside the towpath below Paper Mill Lock where the bank takes a great force of water from the weir in times of heavy rain, and if not protected is subject to rapid erosion. At Springfield Basin in Chelmsford, repairs were made to half the wall at Indigo Wharf and new moorings were

also created where electric service points will be provided. At Barnes Lock, repairs were made to the cills, along with some repainting and repairs to the lock gates and dredging work below the lock. At Heybridge Basin, IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) volunteers spent two weekends concreting the path alongside the south bank visitor moorings. A separate work party saw IWA Chelmsford Branch and WRG groups carry out vegetation clearance between Heybridge Basin and Black Bridge for towpath surfacing work. Other work carried out by WRG volunteers included towpath surfacing work between Sandford and Barnes, resurfacing the car park at Sandford Mill as well as re-grading and surfacing the lock surrounds at Rickett’s Lock.


4.7km of towpath surfaced


In 2013 and 2014 a new assistant lengthsman was employed to help maintain the length of the navigation and two new directors were welcomed to the board.

Essex Waterways Ltd. is a subsidiary of IWA, which was formed to take over the management of the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation in 2005, to save it from closure.

IWA Annual Review 2013/2014

New moorings at Indigo Wharf, Springfield Basin

New visitor moorings at Paper Mill Lock


12 IWA Annual Review 2013/2014

Events Every year, dedicated IWA volunteers organise, run and attend waterway events all over the country. IWA’s 2014 Canalway Cavalcade, which is held annually at Little Venice in London, was a huge success and saw record breaking attendance as well as extensive media coverage helping to promote the waterways of London. IWA’s yearly Trailboat Festival was hosted on the land-locked Grand Western Canal in Devon in 2014. Thousands of visitors enjoyed the event and celebrated completion of repairs to the breached embankment at Halberton. This year saw the formation of a new Events Committee to organise boat rallies commencing with Saul Waterways Pageant over the August Bank Holiday

Weekend. Local IWA branches are organising an increasing number of boat gatherings on their local waterways. In 2014, IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch hosted IWA’s Campaign Festival to promote the River Dee Branch link. There were also gatherings hosted by IWA’s Northampton, Lee & Stort, and West Riding Branches. As well as organising events, IWA volunteers run stands at various festivals and boat shows to promote the Association. Their dedication was recognised in January, when IWA received an award from the organisers of the London Boat Show for its loyal attendance since the event was launched 60 years ago.

WOW During 2013, IWA’s Wild Over Waterways (WOW) activities about waterways history and the environment, were made available for children at events all over the country. 2013 saw the launch of ‘build a canal bridge’ kits which were very popular at their first outing at IWA’s National Waterways Festival in Watford. Early in 2014, WOW received a funding boost of £800 from Toyota Manufacturing UK Charitable Trust. The money was used to produce a new Buildings & Structures children’s activity

leaflet, to add to existing leaflets on Wildlife and Boating History. Many hire boat companies have also started providing WOW activity leaflets for families on their boats. The waterways offer great potential for young people in terms of recreation and personal development by getting involved with boating activities, work parties and restoration where possible.

The waterways offer great

potential for young people in terms of recreation and personal development - Gillian Bolt, IWA’s Youth Development Coordinator

IWA Annual Review 2013/2014 /api/stylesheets/29?nofonts=1

£ 107 ,000 £ 2,000 £ 18,000

£ 7 3,000

£ 4 3,000

Financial Summary

£ 4 4 0,000

£ 180,000

Campaign and Restorat ion Membership and Branch Support Nat ional Festival Loss Governance Publications Public Meet ings and ot her activi... The charity has performed well during in a healthy financial position, which will Investthe ment Management Expenses erway Recovery Group year given the difficultWat economic enable us to continue with our plans and

climate. At the end of 2013 we remain

£38,000 £43,000 £20,000 £20,000 £39,000 £39,000 £4 3,000

objectives going forward.


2013 Income: Total £821,000


£127,000 £127,000

£4 7,000 £47,000


Donations & Legacies Membership Income Trading Surplus Profit on Investments Sundry Public Meetings & Other Activities Investment Income Waterway Recovery Group



£ 107 ,000 £107,000

£2,000 Donations and Legacies Membership Income T rading Surplus £ 2,000 £14,000 Prof it on Invest ment s Sundry £ 18,000 £18,000 Public meet ing and other act ivit... Invest ment income £ 7 3,000 Wat erway Recovery Group £73,000 £ 4 3,000 £43,000


£ 4 4 0,000

2013 Expenditure: Total £877,000 Campaigns & Restoration Membership and Branch Support National Festival Loss Governance Publications Public Meetings & Other Activities Investment Management Expenses Waterway Recovery Group

£ 180,000 £180,000

A full set of the Association’s accounts can be found at Campaign and Restorat ion Membership and Branch Support Nat ional Festival Loss Governance Publications Please note: These figures exclude the activities of Essex Waterways Ltd. Public Meet ings and ot her activi... Invest ment Management Expenses Wat erway Recovery Group


14 IWA Annual Review 2013/2014

Get Involved! Volunteers are involved in every aspect of IWA’s governance, campaigning and activities. Without them IWA would simply not be able to work towards the greater use, further restoration and better maintenance of Britain’s inland waterways. Find out how you can get involved by visiting The Inland Waterways Association is a non-profit distributing company limited by guarantee. Company registration number 612245. Charity registration number 212342. Registered office: Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA

Profile for The Inland Waterways Association

IWA Annual Review 2013/14  

IWA Annual Review 2013/14